Wednesday, December 7, 2016

My Tips for Flying with a Baby

I'll be the first to admit that prior to becoming a mother I was less than enthusiastic when I saw a baby on my flight. I was never one of those people who would get made if they started crying...however school age children kicking the back of my seat and the parents saying nothing well that's enough to piss off Pope Francis. When the time came to take our daughter Brynn on her first flight I wanted to do everything in my power to make flying with her enjoyable not only for myself but for everyone. I'm not the kind of person who is going to make little treat bags for everyone on the flight because who the hell has time for that and I'm not apologetic for being a mother who loves to travel. At the ripe age of four months she will have been on six flights and with many new mommy friends asking for my advice I thought I would share five tips that have worked well for us and our future Travel Channel star.


Research your airlines policies for traveling with children

I am the queen of flying budget airlines...I can't help but run off to Orlando every other month when I find $29 flights. I have made packing an art form and rarely ever have to pay the additional baggage fees that come with booking budget airlines. When I realized how much more we have to bring on trips now I thought we would have to say goodbye to our cheap flights but luckily I'm married to a man that loves to research. Brian learned that both airlines we almost always fly, Frontier and Spirit, check a stroller and car seat for you at no additional charge as well as let you bring a diaper bag in additional to your one free personal item. This was a game changer for us and made us realize we could still travel to see friends and family without breaking the bank.

Get to the airport early

Your days of strolling through security with a bag and purse are over sister. You already know going anywhere with a baby requires a little more time and the airport is no exception. Feeling rushed sucks...feeling rushed with a baby in tow is miserable. We currently live in Atlanta and if you've ever flown out of Hartsfield-Jackson you know the pain of that airport. We make sure to arrive 2 hours before our boarding time so we have plenty of time to get through security and to our gate. Some airports, like Atlanta, have a separate line for guests traveling with strollers which is super nice. If your airport offers that JUST DO IT. This is not the time to be proud and think you can go through the regular line. We never feel rushed loading up all our bags on the belt, getting the baby out, and folding the stroller when we have used the stroller security line. If you are bringing opened formula or bottled breast milk just let the TSA agents know and they will perform a test on it and you can take it through, even if it's more than three ounces. Also when it's time to board take advantage of early boarding when they call for passengers traveling with small children. The extra time really helps you not feel rushed and lets you and the baby get settled in and comfy.

Bring items that make them comfortable

It's truly a pain in my ass to haul it around but our Boppy nursing pillow has been a godsend when flying. Brynn is able to be comfortable laying on it and cuddled up to me. Speaking of comfortable, dress the baby in a comfy sleeper and while you're at it dress comfy yourself...I promise you'll feel better too. Whether it's a pillow, blanket, or special stuffed animal bring whatever will make your baby feel at home.

All smiles on her third flight

Keep their little ears from popping

A few years ago I was on a flight and struck up a conversation with the lady beside me who happened to be a flight attendant of more than ten years. I asked her for traveling tips because at that time I had only flown about three times my entire life. One of the things she told me was that babies and kids gets to unruly on flights because of the unfamiliar feeling of their ears popping. She said with babies nursing, bottle feeding, or even giving them a pacifier will help this from happening and with toddlers and young children chewing gum does the same. I have nursed Brynn on every flight during take off and landing and have never had her cry on the plane, most of the time our fellow passengers don't realize we have a baby until we are getting off the plane.

CTFD!

Y'all I get it. There's no around not being stressed, nervous, and scared when you're flying with a baby but it's so true that they feed off your energy. If you're freaking out about everything there's a solid chance that little one is going to as well. Take a deep breath and own it. If the baby cries on the plane so what! If another passenger makes a comment or is rude about said baby crying that's what curse words are for...just ask the lady who pushed past me in the aisle as I was holding my baby #SorryImNotSorry. I've flown with the baby with my husband and by myself and managed to survive both ways. Sometimes people will surprise you and be incredibly kind and helpful like the TSA agents at Cleveland Hopkins who helped me in every possible way they could at security when I was flying without my husband so be grateful when things like that happen and don't dwell on them if they don't. Keep your attitude positive and don't feel like you have to apologize for being a parent.

At the end of the day all you can do is try your best and know that the flight won't last forever and when you're greeted by the people you're traveling to see it will all be worth it. Happy travels!

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